Album review

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  • Culture
    Album review

    If You Think This Is About You… You’re Right

    ‘If You Think This Is About You… You’re Right,’ the debut album from local band Different Turns, tries to infuse a bit of electronic wibbling into classic alt-rock guitar moves. And listening to it, it’s plain to see that they’re more than capable of making some really good tunes. Tracks like “Erotomania” glide along with a

  • Culture
    Album review

    A U R O R A

      At the end of April, Ben Frost held a concert in a packed Kaffibarinn to premiere the music from his new album ‘A U R O R A.’ To say that the atmosphere was intense in that tiny confined space would be putting it mildly, to say the least. With Greg Fox and Shahzad

  • Culture
    Album review

    Kaleo

    If you think Kings of Leon, the Black Keys and the White Stripes are all purveyors of derivative trash, then there’s a new purveyor on the scene for you to hate. If, on the other hand, you think they’re refreshingly straightforward examples of what God intended for mankind when he invented the electric guitar, then

  • Culture
    Album review

    Adda

    ‘My Brain,’ the crowdsourced debut EP from singer/songwriter Adda (AKA Arnþrúður Ingólfsdóttir), is a wonderfully austere, haunting body of folk songs. Playing fingerpicked acoustic guitar, Adda sings a lot about her turbulent mind (referring to her brain as a third person entity), as if she were in a passionate relationship with a partner. With all

  • Culture
    Album review

    Höfuðsynd

    It should be noted that when you first play ‘Höfuðsynd,’ the debut album from new band Atónal Blús, you quickly realise that despite the cool name, that they’re not really Arnold Schoenberg does John Lee Hooker. But that’s not to dispute that there’s some avant-garde tinkering at play here. The opening track, “Atónal Blús,” is

  • Culture
    Album review

    Just Another Snake Cult

    Just Another Snake Cult’s ‘Cupid Makes A Fool Of Me’ could be described as a concept album on the theme of love. But if the very idea of such a thing is enough to make you run for the hills, stop and think twice, because it’s also something of an opus. For anyone interested in

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    Album review

    Fyrir Herra Spock, MacGyver Og Mig 2013

    Sveinn Guðmundsson’s debut album is pretty much your standard issue bread and butter lo-fi Icelandic folk twiddle. A deferential mix of gently strummed guitars, soft chewy bass notes, comfy melodica wheezes, and trombone (the Comic Sans of instruments) splayed across the board. Initially, it all adds up to a seemingly competent, well-produced album. Yet the

  • Culture
    Album review

    Autumn Skies

    What beautiful sounds this album delivers; it’s simply a brilliantly-designed and controlled set of pastoral pop songs that delivers an intensity of loving thoughts and vignettes through a largely acoustic palette. Snorri’s voice is smooth on the country-blues title tracks that bookend the album, first the guitar version and later with piano in full effect.


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    Album review

    Penumbra

    ‘Penumbra,’ the debut album from songwriter and vocalist ÍRiS, does just what the title suggests. Sitting on the edge of shadow and light, this album seems to lose itself in this indeterminate space. Sombre and beautiful in concept, ‘Penumbra’ falls just short of really capturing the edge and contrast of that dark and light space.

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    Album review

    Eliminate Evil Revive Good Times

    Earlier in 2013, I was asked by a fellow Icelandic music writer to provide some insight for an academic paper he was writing on the “Scottishness” of modern music that came from Scotland. He also asked whether I thought there was an inherent “Icelandicness” that characterises popular music that has come from Iceland in recent

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    Album review

    Northern Comfort

    It seems fair to say that most forms of entertainment value a certain sense of drama. From Shakespeare to Wuthering Heights to Citizen Kane to Arcade Fire, situations and stories are often presented through a certain lens and with a story arc designed to accentuate the dramatic tension in the subject matter. This is, perhaps,

  • Culture
    Album review

    4 Hliðar

    On Samúel Jón Samúelsson’s retro-styled album ’4 Hliðar’ (“Four Sides”, as in vinyl), the composer uses an extended album format to give listeners over an hour and a half of funk-laden tunes. The album shows Samúel’s expert orchestrations for his jazz-based ensemble, letting harmonies blend deliciously between trumpets, saxophones, trombones, guitar, bass, and drums. The

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